Suckling pig

Suckling pig

At the table

By
From
Basque
Serves
8
Photographer
Laura Edwards

If you have already read some of this book, you will know that La Cuchara de San Telmo is one of my favourite restaurants in San Sebastián, and their suckling pig is one dish you must try. The skin is really golden and crispy, and the meat will melt in your mouth!

If you don’t have a large ‘range’ type oven in your kitchen at home, it might be difficult to roast the whole animal. I usually cut the pig in half, through the middle of the belly, and roast the meat in two tins. Any good butcher will cut the pig for you.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 suckling pig, (about 4.5 kg)
2 lemons, halved
2 oranges, halved
400ml white wine
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
4 cloves
75ml olive oil
75g lard
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Ask your butcher to clean the suckling pig and to cut it into two roughly equal-sized pieces. Make sure the pig is cleaned inside very well, leaving it with no traces of blood.
  2. Place the suckling pig in a container, squeeze over the lemons and oranges and add the halves. Add all the other ingredients except the oil and lard. Pour 300 ml water to cover. Leave in a cool place to marinate overnight.
  3. The next day, preheat the oven to 180°C. Drain the suckling pig and pat dry. Score the skin with a sharp knife, then rub all over with half the oil and lard and season really well. Place the pig on its belly in a large roasting tin and roast for 20 minutes. It can be difficult to get the head end standing on its belly, so you can also cook it for half the time on one side and the other half on the other.
  4. After 20 minutes, rub again with more oil and lard and cover the ears and tail with foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C and cook for 2 hours, basting with some of the liquid every 15 minutes and turning the pig if needed.
  5. Turn the oven up to 200°C. Remove the foil from the ears and tail and roast the pig for a further 20 minutes or until golden and crispy. Rest for 20 minutes before serving.
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